“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lovely vintage Etsy shop

                                             Two old paint-by-number pictures.
Available through Sadie Olive ~ Antiques, collectibles, and all things inspiring.

London Thanksgiving

I used Herta pastry crust for my pies this Thanksgiving.  I stock up on Herta pastry every time I get to Paris.  It is delicious, easy to use and very cheap(around a Euro) and is sold in everywhere even small groceries.

The cornmeal Madeline's I made,  seemed to be a hit, the girls especially loved them.  The recipe I found in an old edition of Victoria magazine 2002 which called for rosemary.  I decided to make them the night before Thanksgiving since I don't have a very large oven but I had forgotten to buy rosemary.  I took a chance and substituted Za'atar (an Israeli/Lebanese thyme & herb mixture with seseame seeds and spices).  I think it worked better since rosemary can be quite over powering because it is tricky to mix evenly.  Well here is the recipe if your interested.

Cornmeal (Cornbread) Madeline’s

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon za’atar (if you can’t find za’atar add 1 TBS finely chopped rosemary
1 cup buttermilk

1.    Preheat oven to 350*F
2.    Spray two Madeline tins with non-stick veg spray
3.    In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined.
4.    In another bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic and za’atar .
·      za’atar is an Israeli/ Lebanese mix or thyme, marjoram, oregano, sesame seeds, salt and  spices. It’s  sold in Middle Eastern shops
5.    Alternatively add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter mixture, scraping the sides and bottom of the  bowl occasionally.
6.    Fill the Madeline molds halfway with the batter.
7.    Bake for  5 to 7 minutes or until golden.  Let cool for 5 minutes and invert onto racks.  Continue making Madeline's using up the batter.  Makes 48
I also used quite a few recipes from one of my all time favourite cookbooks, Ottolenghi The Cookbook.  Ottolenghi is a fabulous food emporium, specializing in a fusion of Israeli/Middle Eastern/ Western flavours.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Give Thanks....

Have a lovely long weekend all my American friends and family!  We are having 11 friends coming round this evening after school and work.  I do wish I could spend a Thanksgiving in the States one of these years.... :)

Thansgiving Table Floral Inspiration

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

London 29 April 2011... hmm should I stay or should I go? I do wish them the best.

Hilarious! If you aren't familiar with the English, do you think this is funny?

This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong.
I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind.
Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase.
It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know… But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie.
Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice …” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away.
Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back. A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time (via onthecornerofbelleview)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Does anyone remember the Cranberry series? There was a character called Mr Peabody aka Mr Wiskers. I like the vintage cover and the recipe on the back cover.  I think I'll give it a go.
The book is available on amazon.com

Saturday, November 20, 2010

                                             Warming up with the first mince pie of the season,

Nigella Lawson’s Marylebone High Street. She is a goddess and there is even an Iphone app for her recipes!

Self-described domestic goddess Nigella Lawson has been a household name since her first cookbook, How to Eat, came out in 1998. The British TV personality and bestselling author's latest cookbook, Nigella Christmas

1  Brora
The woman who started this shop decided to make cashmere affordable and fun, so she makes it in every colour imaginable. I’m not thin anywhere except my waist, and she makes these cropped cardigans that she wanted to discontinue, but I told her she wasn’t allowed.
81 Marylebone High St., 44-20-7224-5040, brora.co.uk
2  Divertimenti
This is a big kitchenware shop, and I always have to say after a while, “Please do not let me buy anything else.” You go in for a cake pin, and you come out with three bags full of cookbooks and beautiful copper pans.
33-34 Marylebone High St., 44-20-7935-0689, divertimenti.co.uk
3  The White Company
This bed-linens store has what’s got to be the world’s most expensive – and most comfortable – pillow. It’s Hungarian goose down and incredibly soft. I have a very bad back, and it’s helped cure that. They also have fantastic sheets and duvets. My physiotherapist asked me if I had shares in the company.
12 Marylebone High St., 44-20-7935-7879, thewhitecompany.com
4  La Fromagerie
This shop has every European cheese you can imagine, and only a few people are allowed in at a time so their body heat doesn’t make the cheese too warm. It also has the best coffee in London. It’s magical.
2-6 Moxon St., 44-20-7935-0341, lafromagerie.co.uk
5  Marylebone Farmers’ Market
Every Sunday, the Cramer Street car park stops being a car park and becomes one of the biggest farmers markets in London. It has lovely flowers and the most beautiful lights at Christmas. I don’t know how Christmas decorations can be chic, but these ones are.
Cramer St., just off St. Vincent St.

enRoute | Nigella Lawson’s Marylebone High Street

The lovely photographer, Dana Gluckstein, whom I know through my sister, continues to do amazing work bringing awareness to the plight of indigenous peoples in different parts of the world. Please watch the interview Dana gives about 'Dignity' - CNN - VideoWired.com - Get Wired!

Please watch the interview Dana gives about 'Dignity' - CNN -
then please buy the book which is available on amazon.com

Thank you for listening :)

I love elbow patches and they are everywhere